What does your emotions have to do with weight gain?
The next time you reach for a bag of chips, minutes before an important meeting, pause and ask yourself, ‘Am I really hungry?’ If your tummy is still full with the pulao you ate for lunch, chances are the stress is making you want to munch.
Eating for emotional reasons such as anxiety, anger and loneliness – not physiological hunger – has become a common problem across age groups. Belgian researchers found that children as young as five resort to comfort eating. Worse, a Dutch study found that people not only raid the refrigerator when they are sad, but also when they are happy. Such binge-eating leads to obesity, diabetes, musculoskeletal problems as well as depression and anxiety disorders, found a World Health Organisation study based on surveys in 12 countries. So, curb your cravings before they eat into your life.
You are an emotional eater if
– Your snacking starts with you declaring “I feel like having…”?
– You treat ‘good’ behaviour with food?
– You eat when bored
How can I stop?
One up: When a craving strikes, drink a glass of water and reassess after 10 minutes. You could have mistaken thirst for hunger.
Three down: Eat three different healthy foods (carrots, yoghurt and a fruit) before allowing yourself near the chocolate you are eyeing.
Distract: Paint your nails, go for a walk or pour out your feelings on a piece of paper
Doze off: Sleep deprivation can reduce the level of leptin, the hormone responsible for sending the “I’m full” signal from your tummy to your brain.
At Healthifyme.com our experts understand all the reasons for your weight gain and can help you make the transformation to a healthier lifestyle.